Weighted vest proves no burden for fundraiser Ben

A SUPERFIT man is feeling the burn of his latest challenge after vowing to don a weighted vest for a month.

Ben Graham admits the only time it has felt awkward was when he was in the pub watching football with his mates.

The 30-year-old, who operates in Moorside and Derker and his EPAH brand – which stands for Exercise, Physical Activity and Health – is doing the challenge to raise funds for the Bendrigg Trust in Kendal, Cumbria, which provides outdoor activities for people that are either disabled or disadvantaged.

Every day starts at 5.30am when Ben gets up a to teach a bootcamp class at 6.30am – and putting on the 10kg vest is part of his routine.

And it stays on until he goes to bed, with Ben vowing it ‘one million per cent’ stays on even if he is sat on his own in his living room.

“It’s on for 13 or 14 hours a day,” said the 30-year-old, who lives on Greenwood Street in Greenacres.

“I teach my first class at 6.30am and I don’t get home until about 8.30pm.

“Once I’ve taught the bootcamp, I’ll do my own workout then have personal training clients and then three classes in the evening to teach – all with the vest on.

“I’ll do 90 minutes to two hours by myself in the middle of the morning then on a Sunday, 10 or 11 of us get together to do a big workout and people can put money into a collection then.

“Fortunately, my PT clients all know why I’m wearing the vest.

“I explained it to them beforehand and there’s been on social media detailing what I’ve been doing.
“But now there’s no such thing as a rest day – they’re now called ‘vest days.’”

Ben admits there is only the odd moment when the vest, which contains metal plates, becomes cumbersome or awkward.

And there is no chance of him sleeping in it, even though the suggestion has been made.

“It’s two metal plates,” he added. “I don’t think it’s that safe to sleep in to be honest.

“It will push on my chest and stomach. Even someone in the Army doesn’t sleep in their gear, they take it off an put it on in the morning.

“I’m used to the weight now, it’s part of me, even though it is pulling a bit on my trap muscles and it was a bit awkward watching the football in the pub with my mates!”

Ben’s initial fundraising target of £400 has already been blasted into smitherines as the total currently stands about £1,700.

And after a stint volunteering at Bendrigg, which receives no Government funding, there was only one cause for him as he felt it was ‘only right that I try and do my little bit to help their cause.’

“I was always planning to do the weighted vest challenge but after working with Bendrigg and seeing what they do, I wanted to do it for them,” he explained.

“I asked them if I could do it for them but I was waiting for the right time – now it is.”

March 2 is the day Ben will literally have a weight removed from his shoulders.

There will be a grand ceremony with a workout at The Unit at the Acorn Centre on Barry Street, which he predominantly uses, as well as a centre in Moorside.

And there will be further fundraising as he aims to raise more than £2,000.

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